Research

Fusion in Europe

Fusion research is undertaken in many countries around the world, with a strong co-ordinated European-wide research programme in which the EU Member States, Switzerland and other countries which have bi-lateral agreements with EURATOM participate.

JET Control Room - image copyright Monty RakusenFusion research at Culham is funded jointly by EURATOM and by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Culham Centre for Fusion Energy also has a contract from the European Commission to operate JET, the world's current leading fusion research facility, sited at Culham. Task Forces of scientists from all European Fusion Associations, including the UK, carry out experiments on the JET facility. This work is organised in a collective programme co-ordinated by a programme management unit at Culham.

European research is strongly focused on the fusion R&D roadmap, published in 2013, which sets out the programme needed to supply electricity from fusion by 2050. During the period up to 2020, covered by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 research funding programme, preparations for the next-step international fusion project ITER will take centre stage. The focus of the second period, from 2021 to 2030, is on maximising ITER exploitation and on designing a European demonstration power plant (DEMO). Building and operating DEMO is the main subject of the last roadmap phase, from 2031 to 2050.